We are honored to publish this byline by Richard Metcalf, Director of Business Development EMEA, TrafficGuard. Make sure to let us know your comments below the article.
The global pandemic has undoubtedly caused a massive increase in the number of active users that gamble regularly. A global statistic from Casino.org suggests that almost 26% of the world’s population gamble, and the global gambling market is expected to grow from $76.79 billion to an impressive $127.45 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets.
Betting companies are having to distinguish themselves in such a highly competitive and evolving market by investing in digital campaigns and using premium ad networks. However, many of these channels may not be properly equipped to deal with invalid traffic and ad fraud, and as a result, could be losing large amounts of money every day to fraudsters.
The level of financial and competitor growth within the industry has created a strong attraction from fraudsters, and gambling companies can fall prey with little to no knowledge this is even occurring. And, with the betting industry only saturating further, companies cannot afford to suffer from low ROI and poor campaign performance.
Understanding the Risk of Ad Fraud
The risks associated with virtual gambling are unfortunately heightened with such lucrative rewards on offer and many betting companies deploy protection to help minimise the risk of fraudulent transactions or unethical behaviour. However, there is a real lack of awareness around ad fraud within gambling, and many companies don’t realise the level of impact it’s having on them.
Ad fraud is any traffic that is maliciously created and used to target companies’ advertising budgets, and is a subset of invalid traffic, meaning any advertising engagement that is outside of the target of an advertising campaign.
Here are just some of the ways ad fraud is threatening your ad campaign:
- Bots – Bots are programmed to emulate human behaviour and vary in levels of sophistication and can do anything from clicking and viewing ads to watching videos. Promo abuse bots that click on paid search ads and then run scripts to claim free bets or free spins are highly prevalent in online gaming. As these bots ‘convert’, delivering misleading marketing metrics, it means you are likely optimising campaigns using the wrong data and towards winning more bot traffic.
- Browser-Related Fraud – For example, location fraud, which involves manipulating users’ location information to match the advertiser’s targeting criterion, and domain spoofing, when bad actors monetise the traffic from low-quality sites by manipulating the domains and making it appear to come from high-quality sources.
- Misattribution Fraud – A large volume of clicks on both affiliate and mobile campaigns are faked from a mobile device, even though the user never clicked the ad. If a user with a similar fingerprint then visits the target website and installs the app, the spammer receives credit for the conversion/install and is paid commission.
In reality, the result of ad fraud is inaccurate advertising results and wasted budget. One globally-renowned online betting company that was running a Google Ads campaign found that 23% of its clicks were invalidated, which equated to 28% of its advertising spend.
Without any prior visibility or protection, 71% of the gambling company’s wasted spend was attributed to just one of its campaigns. If the company had the visibility and awareness it truly needed to be able to address the problem, there was an opportunity to save $115,000, a mixture of media spend and potential losses in bonus deposits.
All gambling companies that run Google Ads campaigns are equally as vulnerable as this online betting company, which makes it crucial for marketers operating within this industry to proactively put themselves ahead of fraudsters with increased visibility, accurate analytics, and real-time protection.
Protecting and Saving Your Budget
With confidence in your data and analytics, the saving potential for gambling companies is around 10%, 7% higher than that of other verticals. The solution to invalid traffic starts with knowing exactly how it is impacting your business, and how you can combat it. With trustworthy data that analyses every bit of traffic quality, you can easily make a business case to combat bots, browser fraud and misattribution.
With visibility into the scale of the problem, betting companies can then properly evaluate the right solutions and the partner needed to help solve it. Once you’ve identified a partner with the right skills, technology and expertise for you, they can make an immediate impact.
Elimination with Prevention
Ad fraud currently dominates many betting companies globally, but a change of hands is within reach. Luckily, stopping invalid traffic doesn’t have to be complex or costly. In fact, the money you save will almost always outweigh your investment into stopping it, ensuring you can focus solely on making new savings.
By combining proactivity with visibility, betting companies can make enormous savings and address invalid traffic with confidence and ease. With many betting companies globally only looking to scale their digital marketing further, now is the time to understand your advertising losses and prevent them to achieve maximum growth and success.